Recent History – 2000
Feb. 18, 2000
By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
Dawson Creek old timer Ralph Thomsen, who was part of a Join Alberta Association in the late-1940s, wishes the best of luck to latest movement to make the Peace part of the Wild Rose province. But he doubts they’ll get very far.
“There’s no way B.C. is going to let us go,” he said. “It would be just like losing the goose that laid the golden egg here because we’ve got the dam and we’ve got the oil and they’re putting millions of dollars into the coffers every year.
“They’re not going to just let us join Alberta.”
Thomsen was part of a movement that agitated for joining Alberta primarily because the only road heading out of the Peace at the time went east.
“We had to go through Edmonton and then down through the Big Bend to get down to Vancouver and to get to our capital,” he said.
The effort was enough to make politicians in Ottawa and Victoria take notice he said. By 1951 there was a road connecting the Peace to Prince George.
Thomsen doesn’t take all the credit for the improvements that were made. He said the election of W.A.C. Bennett as premier was the major turning point.
“As far as I was concerned, until Wacky Bennett got in, the rest of B.C. went up as far as Hudson Hope. And then beyond that they knew nothing about it, or practically nothing,” he said.
But while he doubts it would ever happen, Thomsen believes that the Peace would be better off in Alberta, in part because we’re a lot closer to Edmonton than Victoria.
“And our whole economy is with Alberta. The gas, the oil, the farming, the whole thing,” he said.
“The border has been a big sore ever since they started the seven per cent tax and Alberta didn’t have one.
“Yeah, we’d be better off in Alberta, by far.”
Even if those behind this latest movement fall short of their objective, Thomsen said it would still be worthwhile because it will force politicians to take notice. “Anything to wake them up,” he said.